Looking for a night on the town, Leonard Cohen? Look up Amanda Shires.
According to Shires’ “A Song for Leonard Cohen,” she’d like to buy you a drink “and then more, and then five.” She’d just listen while you talk, and offers that the two of you could “compare mythologies.”
Shires has yet to hear back from Cohen about the musical tribute. Still, a complimentary copy of the tune is all his.
Shires played a September gig in Nashville on what happened to be Cohen’s birthday, and the song was part of her set. One of Cohen’s backup singers was at the show, and Shires gave her a copy of the “Down Fell the Doves” album that contains “Cohen.”
“I don’t know if he ever got it,” Shires said during a recent phone interview with The Goshen News. She speculates that if he did, Cohen probably used it as a coaster.
That’s cheeky and overly modest. “Doves” is a fine slice of Americana that’s garnering critical accolades. Shires is touring behind the album now, with a Friday stop scheduled at Ignition Music Garage in downtown Goshen.
Lyrically, “Doves” runs the emotional gamut. There are songs about hopeful love (“Stay”), exuberant love (“Wasted and Rolling”), love gone wrong (take your pick), lives gone wrong (“Monsters are men that the devil gets in,” according to “Deep Dark Below”) and suicide (“Box Cutters”).
Shires didn’t take offense to a reporter’s suggestion that chunk of the album is, quote, kind of a downer.
“I’m for it,” she said of the description. “I like it. I prefer it. Townes Van Zandt said you could play the blues or you could play ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’. And I definitely don’t feel like writing when I’m elated or on top of the world.”